If you’re on the lookout for an affordable yet high-performance smartphone, you might be interested in the Blackview Shark 8. This phone has been generating quite a buzz in the market of budget-friendly smartphones, and it’s no surprise considering the remarkable specifications it offers for its price point. With the Blackview Shark 8 currently available for a special offer from November 11 to 17, with a price tag of just $118, it promises to provide an unbeatable combination of performance and affordability.
We’ll explore every aspect of this smartphone, from its unboxing experience to its design, hardware, and performance. We’ll discuss the quality of its camera, gaming capabilities, audio features, and much more. By the end of this review, you should have a clear understanding of whether the Blackview Shark 8 is the right choice for you. So, let’s dive right in and uncover all that this budget smartphone has to offer.
Blackview Shark 8 Features
- Slim Body & Premium Design
- Helio G99 Octa-Core SoC
- 6.78” FHD+ 120Hz Display
- Smasung 64MP main camera
- 13MP Front Camera
- Up to 16GB RAM (8GB+8GB) + 128GB/256 ROM
- Doke 4.0 system Based on Android 13
- 5000mAh Large battery + 33W fast charging
- Dual 4G Network, GPS, NFC
The Blackview Shark 8 arrives in a vibrant lilac-colored box, setting the tone for a promising unboxing experience. The exterior of the package boasts the smartphone’s key specifications, hinting at an impressive configuration—128GB internal memory and a whopping 16GB of RAM. Here we start with a bad start because it’s not true; it only has 8GB. It claims to have the functionality to add virtual storage, but it’s not the same, it doesn’t work the same way. However, 8GB is not a bad number.
Opening the box, we have a gift screen protector, a quality USB-C to USB-C cable, and a 33W charger, which is usually not included with phones that cost more than $200. There’s a plain plastic case that hides the phone’s design, a standard manual, and a pin to remove the SIM tray. Now, let’s look at the design.
Design and Build Quality
Blackview’s Shark 8 embodies an impressive design philosophy that’s coupled with a durable and aesthetically pleasing build. The smartphone is presented in a sleek, dark blue matte plastic finish, that minimizes fingerprint smudges. This modern design is accentuated by its sturdy construction, making it a device that appears and feels high-end despite its budget-friendly price. The use of high-quality materials in the construction of the Shark 8 provides a robust yet lightweight feel. The smartphone is 7.89mm thick and weighs 190g, making it comfortable to hold in hand. The build quality is decent as well.
The front is like any other phone, its presents a 6.78-inch Full HD+ display, offering vivid and vibrant visuals. The careful integration of this display enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the smartphone. With the device’s front camera boasting 13MP, the inclusion of a slim bezel around the display creates an immersive visual experience without compromising on camera quality.
However, after A close look at the Shark 8 from another side, you will notice that it has a boxy shape. The edges are not smooth or curved, which makes it feel like a flat slab in your hand. That may set it apart from other phones but is not a very comfortable design for prolonged usage. I began feeling minor inconvenience after holding the phone for about an hour, especially while watching videos or playing games. Even though it’s not very slippery to hold, you can still use the silicone cover in the box for added comfort. Btw, the Shark 8 comes in three shades, Scorching Gold, Galaxy Blue, and Moonlight Grey.
The body of the Blackview Shark 8 is made of polycarbonate, but the back panel has a metallic-like finish. The back panel has Blackview branding at the bottom and at the top is a large circular camera module with 2 lenses and an LED flash ” although it looks like there are two, only one is real”. The camera module is slightly protruded but that doesn’t affect the balance of the device.
The side layout features volume buttons and a screen lock button equipped with an embedded fingerprint scanner. Moreover, has a SIM tray on the left side of the device. This tray provides ample space for dual SIM cards and an additional slot for a flash drive of up to 1 TB, a feature missing in most flagships.
The bottom section features a 3.5 mm audio jack, allowing the user to connect headphones or an external microphone. Additionally, a microphone and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer are incorporated on the lower edge of the device, alongside a singular speaker.
The Blackview Shark 8 boasts a 6.78-inch IPS display that delivers a Full HD experience with a resolution of 2460 x 1080. This expansive real estate is complemented by a pixel density of 396 dpi, providing vibrant and sharp images for every visual encounter. With a maximum brightness of 500 nits, the display ensures legibility even in well-lit environments. The screen’s clarity and luminosity make it a comfortable companion for various tasks, ranging from casual browsing to multimedia consumption, even in outdoor settings. If you want to complain, perhaps it’s about the small bar at the bottom that doesn’t cover the entire front. Apart from that, it’s a great screen.
It’s worth highlighting that the device allows adjustment of the screen’s refresh rate to offer a choice between 60Hz and 120Hz, to provides remarkably smooth transitions and interactions, making every swipe, scroll, and gaming experience more fluid and responsive. Additionally, the availability of different refresh rate modes offers users the flexibility to optimize battery consumption while enjoying optimal performance. Interacting with the display feels incredibly responsive, whether it’s gaming, scrolling through social media, or simply navigating through the interface. The capacitive touch system, combined with the display’s responsiveness, ensures a seamless and intuitive user experience.
The color reproduction on the Shark 8’s display is vibrant, rendering images and videos in a captivating manner. The IPS panel offers good color accuracy and impressive contrast, making content come to life with a natural and pleasing vibrancy. Moreover, the display settings allow customization of the visual experience, from adjusting the brightness, and color temperature, and applying night mode, catering to various user preferences.
Playing Content & Audio
Playing the content on YouTube, was very smooth. You can play videos at a maximum of 1080p at 30 FPS without any problems or lag, And this is the highest quality you can get. My major issue however is the lack of Widevine L1 certification which restricts the video resolution on most streaming services to a mere 480p. While this does not become an immediate deal breaker, if you like watching your content on your smartphone, this might be an issue. This level may be difficult to find in many Chinese smartphones without exaggeration.
Audio, often an overlooked facet in smartphones, is an essential element that significantly contributes to the overall user experience. Despite the Blackview Shark 8 economic pricing, the singular speaker installed on the device provides a remarkable audio output. While it may lack the finesse of stereo speakers or the depth of a multi-speaker setup, the audio quality is crisp and clear. The speaker’s output is more than adequate for everyday activities, including media consumption, calls, and even casual music listening.
The device supports the classic 3.5mm headphone jack, presenting users with the convenience of connecting wired headphones or external audio systems.
Performance and Gaming
In terms of performance, the phone is powered by the Helio G99 processor, which is a significant addition to MediaTek’s lineup of processors tailored for mid-range and upper mid-range smartphones. It’s the same SoC that found it in the popular ruggeds phones IIIF150 B2 Ultra and DOOGEE Smini that I reviewed before days, ensuring smooth and efficient performance for various tasks.
This powerful processor propels this device forward with a 6nm modern process and octa-core CPU setup. Among its cores are two powerful Cortex-A76 and six energy-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. The balanced distribution between powerful performance and energy efficiency ensures a smooth, lag-free experience while optimizing power consumption. With a maximum frequency of 2.2GHz and a Mali-G57 graphics processor, the Blackview Shark 8 is a robust workhorse, capable of handling a variety of tasks.
The Helio G99 performs competitively in benchmark tests. The Antutu and Geekbench scores speak volumes about its capabilities, positioning itself as a robust contender in its segment. Additionally, it’s known for its stable performance during prolonged usage, without substantial overheating concerns.
The MediaTek Helio G99 tends to achieve Antutu benchmark scores ranging from approximately 400,000 to 410,000 points. These scores affirm its ability to handle moderate to heavy usage with smooth performance and robust multitasking capabilities. However, it’s impressive in stability tests; it hardly heats up. It barely rises a couple of degrees in processor zones, with temperatures barely reaching 27°C.
For Geekbench, the Helio G99 typically scores around 700 to 800 points for the single-core test and roughly 1,800 to 2,000 points for the multi-core test. These scores highlight its efficiency in handling everyday tasks and applications while ensuring an optimal user experience.
3DMark (Graphics Performance)
When it comes to graphics performance, this processor often records 3DMark scores reflecting its ability to manage gaming and graphical tasks efficiently. The Helio G99’s Mali-G57 GPU integration demonstrates sufficient power to handle gaming and multimedia without considerable slowdowns. These benchmark scores, although approximate, provide an overview of the Helio G99’s capabilities. They indicate a reliable performance in everyday tasks, gaming, and overall system responsiveness, making it a solid choice for mid-range and upper mid-range smartphones. So, it’s more in line with the Snapdragon 695. It’s not bad, but you have to consider this when buying.
Memory and Storage
Equipped with 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, which ensures smooth multitasking and fast app switching. Also, offers an interesting feature known as “Virtual RAM Expansion” This feature allows the smartphone to allocate a portion of its storage space up to 16GB to act as additional virtual RAM, essentially increasing the available RAM for running apps and processes. This can lead to improved multitasking and smoother performance, especially when dealing with resource-intensive applications.
Furthermore, with 128GB of internal storage (UFS 2.2) with 400 MB for reading and only 350 MB for writing, this smartphone ensures seamless multitasking and ample space for your apps and data.
In our test runs, we found the Blackview Shark 8 to handle PUBG Mobile commendably. By adjusting the graphics to the balanced settings and FPS to Ultra, the gaming experience was fluid, and the gameplay remained consistently smooth. The device managed to deliver decent graphics quality without compromising the frame rate, providing an engaging gaming experience.
For Genshin Impact, a more demanding game in terms of graphics and processing power, the Shark 8 displayed some limitations. Running this game at higher settings may cause some frame drops and slightly reduced graphics quality, but adjusting the settings to low or medium provides an overall playable experience.
Starting with emulation, Retro Arch with the most popular 8 and 16-bit cores, running consoles like NES, Super NES, and Genesis, worked smoothly. Next, first-generation 3D consoles like Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1 ran without issues, and even Sega Saturn ran well. Moving on to Dreamcast via Retro Arch, it worked flawlessly.
For portable consoles, with external emulators, the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo DS ran perfectly at their original resolutions. But for 3DS, it struggles, unable to run heavier games smoothly. Now for heavier emulations, PlayStation 2 ran Gran Turismo fine after a resolution drop to 75%. God of War 2 was also playable with the older version of the emulator. For GameCube with Dolphin, it ran better than expected. Mario Sunshine ran fine, but it will limit you to lighter games that don’t demand more resources.
While the device manages to handle various games, it’s important to note that its hardware capabilities have limitations, especially when it comes to more graphics-intensive games. However, for a smartphone within its price range, the performance it offers for gaming is commendable.
So, the Blackview Shark 8 handles gaming remarkably well within the limitations of its hardware. While it might not be the top choice for heavy gamers due to its hardware constraints, it certainly stands as a promising and cost-effective option for those seeking a gaming-capable smartphone without breaking the bank.
Software and UI Experience
The Blackview Shark 8 doesn’t rely on standard Android but don’t fret. The device comes with a customized interface, Doke OS 4.0 based on Android 13. This custom skin doesn’t detract from the core Android experience. Out of the box, all Google services are pre-installed, ensuring a fluid, responsive user experience. Some additional features include a notepad, workspace, and Easy Share for convenient data transfers between devices. There’s also a children’s mode for parental control and a focus mode to minimize interruptions. The Android 13 version ensures that you’re equipped with the latest features, security updates, and optimizations, enhancing the overall user experience.
Customization is a strong suit of the Shark 8. Users can tweak the interface, rearrange icons, and personalize themes according to their preferences. The tablet offers a stock Android feel, with minimal bloatware, giving users the freedom to choose and install applications of their liking. Furthermore, the Shark 8 caters to multitasking needs.
When it comes to smartphones, the camera often stands out as a pivotal feature, dictating our everyday visual experiences. The Blackview Shark 8, with its promise of affordability and impressive specifications, doesn’t skimp on its camera capabilities, providing users with a blend of versatility and quality.
At the rear end of the Blackview Shark 8 rests its primary camera module, boasting an impressive 64MP(Samsung®ISOCELLGW3). This substantial sensor captures an array of details, revealing the finesse of every shot taken. The high megapixel count provides ample room for zooming and cropping without compromising the image quality. Paired with the right lighting, this camera proves to be an asset for photography enthusiasts and regular users alike.
For the selfie aficionados, the 13MP(Samsung®ISOCELL 3L6) front camera on the Blackview Shark 8 steps up the game. Whether it’s a quick video call or a stunning self-portrait, this front camera delivers a decent performance. The high resolution ensures crisp and clear selfies, capturing the intricacies of facial expressions.
Video recording with the Blackview Shark 8 serves a purpose. While it may not be the ultimate choice for professional video production, it stands strong for casual recording needs. The different recording modes – from Full HD to 2K – ensure decent frame rates and overall quality, promising clear footage.
Battery Life & Usage
The Blackview Shark 8 boasts a substantial 5,000mAh battery, promising enduring power for your daily activities. During my testing, I put the phone through its paces, engaging in multimedia consumption, gaming sessions, and standard usage to gauge its battery life and overall endurance. Also, is equipped with a remarkable 33W fast charging technology that ensures a swift and efficient power replenishment process.
In terms of battery performance, the Shark 8 proves to be a reliable companion. With its ample battery capacity, the phone manages to maintain its vitality for an extended period. During a series of tests involving streaming videos, browsing the internet, and utilizing productivity applications, the battery drain fell short of expectations, clocking in at approximately 11.5 hours, which is less than the anticipated 14-15 hours.
One of the key considerations for any smartphone, is its connectivity options. The Shark 8 provides the convenience of using dual SIM cards from different carriers simultaneously and covers an extensive range of 4G global LTE bands, Broad network support means you can stay connected to high-speed data networks and make HD-quality voice calls in various regions across the globe. Also, it supports the following satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou. And supports a variety of WLAN protocols, including 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n 2.5 & 5GHz Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC, making it compatible with services like Google Pay.
Price and Value Proposition: The Blackview Shark 8
When it comes to purchasing a new smartphone, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the value you get for your hard-earned money. While the smartphone market is saturated with a plethora of options, ranging from budget to flagship models, finding a device that offers a compelling value proposition can be a daunting task. The Blackview Shark 8, is a budget-friendly smartphone that has been making waves in the market. Priced at an astonishingly affordable range, this smartphone offers a lot more than you might expect, challenging the notion that you need to break the bank for a capable and feature-rich device.
Understanding the Pricing
First, let’s take a closer look at the pricing of the Blackview Shark 8. In a limited-time offer, this smartphone is available for an incredibly low cost, particularly during a promotional period, such as AliExpress’ 11.11 sales from November 11 to 18. During this window, the Blackview Shark 8 is priced at just $ 119.99. This pricing strategy places it squarely within the budget-friendly category, which is great news for consumers who want a smartphone without the premium price tag.
It’s great to have these options, as you don’t need to spend $500 on every phone. The competition is fierce, and you don’t need to spend that much for a more than acceptable-experience. So, If you’re in the market for an affordable smartphone that doesn’t compromise on key features, the Blackview Shark 8 is undoubtedly worth considering. Its limited-time promotional pricing makes it an even more attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. This device showcases how budget-friendly smartphones are becoming increasingly capable, offering exceptional value for their price.
What You Get for Your Money
The Blackview Shark 8 undoubtedly stands as a remarkable contender in the budget smartphone market. This review has traversed through various facets, from unboxing to hands-on testing, aiming to offer a comprehensive understanding of this device.
The highlight of this review remains the outstanding value the Shark 8 presents. The design, despite being matte plastic, reflects a premium quality akin to more expensive models, presenting a sleek appearance that resists fingerprint smudges. With a large and vibrant 6.78-inch Full HD display and a pixel density of 396 dpi and supports a smooth 120 Hz refresh rate. This phone delivers impressive visuals, ensuring that your content is crisp and engaging.
The smartphone impresses with its camera capabilities, boasting a 64-megapixel primary rear camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. The device captures crisp, detailed images, rivaling more expensive models, while offering additional features such as portrait mode and video recording options. Also, The Blackview Shark 8 is equipped with a 5,000 mAh battery, providing extended battery life that can easily last you through a full day of usage. With a lower price, you might expect a compromise on battery capacity, but that’s not the case here.
The Shark 8 operates on the MediaTek Helio G99 processor, which, despite not being a record-breaker in speed with 410,000 points in Antutu benchmark scores, aptly caters to diverse user needs without heating concerns. Despite its budget nature, the Shark 8 handles gaming quite well. With a balance of performance and graphical capabilities, it can handle popular mobile games like PUBG with ease. It might struggle with more graphics-intensive titles like Genshin Impact, but this smartphone still offers a good gaming experience for most users.
This is paired with 128GB/256GB of internal memory and 8GB of RAM, which is still quite substantial for a budget smartphone, and without forgetting the possibility of expansion to reach up to 16GB of RAM. All of this is managed via a new interface from Blackview, the DokeOS 4.0 based on Android 13.